September 25, 2009


Martha Anderson

When my elder brother, Julius, was in his teens and I was half his age, I noticed that whenever he was speaking to our father, he’d say, “Dad,” both at the beginning and end of every sentence.

“Dad, are we going to stook the oat sheaves today, Dad?”
“Dad, I’ve finished cleaning out the barn, Dad.”

One day the two of them had just left the house for morning chores, when I mentioned this habit of Julius’s to my mother.

“Yes, he doesn’t find it hard to say, Dad. I’m glad our sons have no problem with saying, Dad,” she replied. “They’re always saying Dad.” She spoke with such feeling that made me wonder why she felt so emotional about the matter. I had only found it amusing. After all, why would that be too hard for them to say. Dad was a simple enough word to pronounce, and after all, he was their Dad so why not call him that?

I learned in later many teenagers do have difficulty addressing their father in as respectful manner. To too many of them their dad is “the old man” or worse.

On one occasion I read through the Bible books that tell about the life of Jesus, I underlined every name that referred to Jesus. I noticed that the names by which Jesus was addressed always reflected the opinion of the speaker. His followers called Him Master. Those who sought him out for healing often addressed him as Son of David, Rabbbi, or Lord. Jesus often referred to himself as the Son of God, which I understand to be a contraction of The Son-of-God-become-Man.

To his enemies Jesus was an unnamed identity. They refused to give him the respect of even calling him by any name or title of dignity. Instead they spoke with distain of “this fellow,” which would be equivalent scoundrel.

When Jesus came close the end of his public ministry, he turned to his disciples to ask them, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

Then Jesus asked the same question of his disciples, “But who do you say that I am?”

Then Simon Peter boldly declared what he had come to realize: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

I am so glad that this truth about who Jesus was has been passed on to us. Because of who Jesus was He was able to take on himself the punishment for all our sin so that I can now be free to address God as our beloved Father.

Martha Anderson


  1. Martha! (I don't recall reading your writings earlier. Perhaps I'm just forgetful!) Thank you for writing your experience. I love how you tied your childhood memory into a lesson for us today.

  2. What a thoughtful insight: "I noticed that the names by which Jesus was addressed always reflected the opinion of the speaker."

    I will be paying closer attention to this as I read the my Bible.


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